At Blackhorse Primary School we teach a broad Mathematics Curriculum which comprises of Core Numeracy skills (explained below), Problem Solving, Word Problems, calculation methods and cross-curricular maths.

All of these areas feed into our children's developing understanding of maths. In September 2014, Blackhorse adopted a method called Big Maths for teaching children the core skills of maths at the centre of our curriculum.


Big Maths is a new way of looking at the Primary Mathematics curriculum. It is based on 5 simple principles that are just common sense and self-evident (and often under-used). Big Maths is already used in thousands of schools across the UK and internationally because it provides a genuine numeracy framework that blends all 5 of these vital principles into one simple programme:


1. Children become numerate through following a natural sequence of progression: e.g. for a child to know double 70, they need to know double 7 first. We call these steps of progression ‘Progress Drives’.


2. Children need to have basic skills in order to use basic skills: Therefore it is important to separate out the acquisition of core basic skills for Mathematics from the ‘using and applying’ of those skills. We call the basic skills ‘Core Numeracy’ and the use of these skills ‘Outer Numeracy’. In summary... prioritise the teaching of Core Numeracy.

3. Children acquire the basic skills of Mathematics through the chronology of CLIC: When we look at Core Numeracy in more detail we see that it has a 4 stage process to it;

  • Counting (children learn to count and to ‘count on’).
  • Learn Its (children then short-cut this counting by recalling their ‘counting on’ as facts).
  • It’s Nothing New (children then ‘swap the thing’ to realise that the counting fact, or ‘Learn It’, can be applied to any object, amount or unit of measure).
  • Calculation (the previous 3 phases are combined to provided a calculations focus

Children need a structured, and regular, basic skills session: For children to become properly numerate they receive a daily CLIC session, i.e. little and often. We might leave other areas of the primary curriculum for a period of time and then return to them, but this does not work for the basic skills. Children need to constantly be nudged up Progress Drives, with plenty of repetition, revisiting and reinforcement as they go.

5. Big Maths is a whole school approach: A child should come through school with a basic skills journey of great continuity. The child should experience this journey as if they were being taught, and tracked, by one teacher. For this to happen all teachers use the same steps of progression and teach each individual step in a uniform manner. 



Useful Resources:

Click here for Parents' Workshop Powerpoint

Click here Reading Numbers Poster to use at home

Click here for Coin Maths Poster

Click here for making connections Powerpoint